After all the macarons that I have made in my small, humble oven, it is indeed a wonder why I never made the effort to try one of the world's best know macarons - Ladurée.
I finally managed to have some during my stay in Singapore. To be honest, I wasn't particularly looking for Ladurée. I was actually walking back to the hotel, from my very scrumptious (and halal) dinner at Paul Bakery in Takashimaya/Ngee Ann City. The Chanel boutique caught my eye, and I was window shopping, feasting my eyes on the beautiful handbags in the window display. (Chanel Boy, anyone?) And there it was! Nestled in between the Chanel and Goyard (future handbag, perhaps?) was the Ladurée counter. And the only one in South East Asia, apparently!
|The Ladurée counter.|
I was initially quite hesitant about queuing in line, especially since I didn't know what flavours to choose nor even the price. And I was no where dressed half as nice as the upper-class females waiting in queue for their favourite macarons. But then I thought, "Heck I am not from this country; who cares if I don't look like a person who knows her way around Ladurée macarons?"
So I played the dumb tourist act and asked the very nice person serving me to recommend their best flavours. Since there was a minimum purchase of six macarons, I opted for six. But when I saw him putting it in a bag, I asked (nicely) for a pretty box so that it would last the flight home (erm, I lied - it was actually so that I can pose the macarons for pictures). Unfortunately, you have to buy eight to get a box. (You can even pay slightly additional to get a special Singapore edition box.) So I settled with eight and told him, "Give me eight of your best macarons, just surprise me!" He asked whether I preferred sweet or less sweet macarons, and I asked him to give me a bit of both.
|Rows and rows of beautiful macarons.|
|Various pretty boxes to choose from.|
|You can also opt for more pretty tins or even a macaron pyramid. Just be prepared to pay a bomb.|
Seriously, Ladurée is not cheap. The macarons are SGD 3.80 (approximately RM10) per piece! I paid close to RM80 for the box of eight. Imagine, biting into an RM10 macaron. If you stuff the whole macaron into your mouth in one bite, tadaa... RM10 is gone in one swallow. *shudder* Oh well, that's the price you have to pay for having world class Parisian patissiers make the macarons and fly them all the way into Singapore - that's a long plane ride, no kidding!
|The Ladurée flavours.|
So I carried my box of eight Ladurée macarons carefully across Orchard Road and up to my room at the Grand Hyatt, all the while worried for the safety of my delicate delights. As soon as I arrived, I promptly posed them for a picture. Beautiful paperbag, beautiful box. Need I say more?
|Unopened box. Oh the anticipation of trying a Ladurée macaron!|
|So beautiful! The mix of colours were just right. I am actually salivating as I am typing this.|
So what did I get in the box? From left to right, Salted Caramel, Marie Antoinette Tea, Pistachio, Rose Petal, Coconut, Lemon, Vanilla and Chocolate.
So here's a pick of my best flavours. My favourites were definitely (in order) the Marie Antoinette Tea, Rose Petal, Vanilla, Salted Caramel and Chocolate. What I was on the fence about, would be the Pistachio. What I would give a miss next time would be the Lemon and the Coconut.
What I found best about Ladurée was that the flavours were simple and pure. And they were packed with so much flavour, even a petite morsel had so much taste within it. For instance, I could taste and even smell rose petals when I bit into the Rose Petal macaron - a stunning creation, hands down. The Vanilla even had specks of vanilla beans on the surface of the macaron, which indicated how rich the vanilla flavour would penetrate my palate. Every bite brought a smile to my face. It was a very pleasant experience.
The appearance of the macarons were just perfect - incredibly smooth with no unsightly bumps or bubbles in sight. And don't even mention about feet. Macarons shouldn't be called macarons if they don't have feet. I tried splitting the macaron into half using a spoon and the shell shattered beautifully and I could see the moist and generous filling inside. The filling was so generous that the salted caramel practically oozed onto the other macarons when they all rode in my handbag on the plane home.
I would definitely buy these again, during my next trip to Singapore. Who cares about biting into an RM10 macaron! Money can be earned. An experience like this - priceless!
N.B: As I was researching this blogpost, I found out that there is also a Ladurée Boutique on Level 2 of Takashimaya. This boutique not only sells macarons, but also other Ladurée knick knacks such as souvenirs, scents, merchandise such as tote bags, and even key chains. I don't know whether I would bear to part with so much money for something Ladurée. But... that tote bag on their website looks really nice! Erk *I wanna be a rich tai tai*